“This level of interest from Georgia individuals and families demonstrates that the marketplace is serving a valuable purpose and meeting its intended goal of keeping people covered in an affordable…
Recent attempts within states to scale back vital health care programs for our most vulnerable citizens at a time when they are critically needed is cause for concern. The move began with Arizona Governor Brewer’s request to the federal government for a waiver from stability protections that prevent states from restricting eligibility levels for the Medicaid program. In response, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal’s spokesperson was quoted by Bloomberg news organization earlier today that while the Governor has not offered specific cuts, he “would happily work on such a proposal.”
By Cindy Zeldin and Joann Yoon
On Election Day, Georgia voters will head to the polls to elect our state’s policymakers. Most voters are familiar with certain elected offices, like that of Governor, but many Georgians may be unaware of the importance, or perhaps even the existence, of the Office of State Insurance Commissioner.
The Insurance Commissioner runs the Georgia Department of Insurance and is elected every four years in a statewide vote. Among the core functions the Department of Insurance performs is the regulation of health insurance in Georgia. The Insurance Commissioner ensures that companies selling individual and small group policies in Georgia are financially solvent and enforces consumer protections and state laws regarding benefits that private insurers must include in policies sold in Georgia.
With the recent enactment of the Affordable Care Act, the new health care law, the role of the Insurance Commissioner has expanded. Our next Insurance Commissioner’s decisions will play an important role in shaping Georgia’s health insurance system for consumers in 2011 and well into the future.
Guest Blog By Michelle Putnam, MPH
For those inclined to live under a rock, the state of Georgia is in a deep recession, with revenues steadily declining over the past year and showing no sign of recovery. In Georgia, 20% of adults and 18% of high school students smoke, costing our $2 billion a year in smoking-related health problems. Is there a magic pill that would solve both of these problems at once? You bet there is. I give you, the tobacco tax.
This post originally appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on December 8, 2009.
By Cindy Zeldin
Our nation is on the cusp of historic public policy change. In the next several weeks, the most sweeping health reform legislation in 40 years will likely become law. Despite the heated town halls of August and the steady stream of information coming from the legislative debates in Washington, many Georgians are still wondering: What does this mean for me?